Russia is a land so vast, diverse and also largely
unknown that it transcends our imagination in
various ways. It is the largest state in the world
in terms of area and yet large parts are sparsely
populated and hardly accessible.
Russia is the largest country in the world – it reaches from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the cliffs of the Pacific and from the Arctic to the Central Asian steppes. Some of the approximately 120,000 rivers and two million lakes are among the largest bodies of water on our planet. Many stretches of coast are picturesque, wild and mostly untouched by human activities.
High Arctic, ice covered wilderness in the north, tundra with sparse vegetation and then “further south” the wooded taiga stretch as far as the eye can see, merges into seemingly endless mixed forests and then making way for steppes and even deserts.
For diving and nature expeditions, for example, the majestic Baikal, the White Sea, the vast and barren Arctic, the endless Siberia and the far east of Kamchatka, as well as the island chain of the Kuril Islands offer possibilities difficult to imagine.
However, in many places logistics and infrastructure can give real challenges when organizing tours. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why many regions remain untouched by large-scale tourist activities.
But here too, our concept of expeditions for small or very small groups opens up a multitude of possibilities. Together with local partners, we offer a selection of exciting tours, for example diving in the deepest and oldest lake in the world, the Baikal. A terrific experience both in summer as a round trip on a safari ship and in winter under sometimes meter-thick ice.
Discovering the wild and unspoilt Russia often means giving up some luxuries.
However, by doing so it will open opportunities to visit previously little-known regions and experience real adventures.
This applies fully for the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East. After all, it stretches over an area more than the size of Scandinavia and until 1990 even Russians needed a special permit to visit the then military exclusion zone. Today the main attraction, the valley of the volcanoes is UNESCO world natural heritage and part of a biosphere reserve.
Like many other places on the peninsula, this valley is hardly accessible and usually a helicopter transfer is needed. Many of the coastal regions can only be reached by long car journeys on poorly developed roads and even longer journeys by ship. On site, you can often expect accommodation and meals that do not exceed camping standards.
But if you are willing to forego luxury, you will be rewarded with experiences and impressions that are otherwise denied to most.
Hundreds of bears await the arrival of salmon at lake Kuril in summer, mighty bowhead whales gather in sheltered bays, there are local groups of orcas, sea lion colonies and bird rocks.
The visibility along the coast is quite limited in the summer months due to the richness of nutrients, which makes so much life possible. Diving activities are therefore less rewarding in many places.
On the other hand, very good visibility can be found under the massive winter ice cover of the White Sea. The region is relatively easy to reach with a transfer from Finland, or by train from Saint Petersburg – the cultural capital of Russia where you should definitely plan a stopover.
For a long time, many regions were or are still barely accessible to visitors. In combination with the unbelievable size, you can only guess which hidden adventures are still waiting here!